Lawmaker wants additional judge for Indiana

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A bill proposed this week would add a new federal judgeship to the Southern District of Indiana, a recommendation that's been pitched for years but has failed to garner enough legislative support.

U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Tuesday introduced the Federal Judgeship Act of 2009 that would add 63 new judgeships - temporary or permanent - throughout the country, including the one in Indiana. The Northern District of Indiana and the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals are not part of that proposal, which has been co-sponsored by Indiana's Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh.

The text of that legislation isn't yet available, but a news release from Leahy's office outlines the new judgeships he's proposing.

Boosting the judicial roster in that District Court has been on the table for many years, and Leahy pitched similar legislation last year. That legislation made it to the Senate Judiciary Committee but stalled after Republican lawmakers declined to conduct a hearing for testimony.

This new legislation follows a recommendation earlier this year from the federal judiciary's policymaking Judicial Conference of the United States, which proposed adding those judgeships in order to help reduce the backlog in the nation's courts. The Judicial Conference also voted in 2007 to add another judge to the Southern District, which has had five permanent judges since 1978.

Timing of this legislation would benefit the Southern District, if passed. While the court has a roster of five active judges, one of those slots is currently open after Judge Larry McKinney took senior status in July, although he will maintain a full caseload until a successor is named. Also, Chief Judge David F. Hamilton is awaiting a confirmation vote by the Senate for possible elevation to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. If that happens, there will be an additional open slot on the District Court. If all that materializes, it would necessitate three judicial nominations for the court.


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  1. This is ridiculous. Most JDs not practicing law don't know squat to justify calling themselves a lawyer. Maybe they should try visiting the inside of a courtroom before they go around calling themselves lawyers. This kind of promotional BS just increases the volume of people with JDs that are underqualified thereby dragging all the rest of us down likewise.

  2. I think it is safe to say that those Hoosier's with the most confidence in the Indiana judicial system are those Hoosier's who have never had the displeasure of dealing with the Hoosier court system.

  3. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise

  4. I have a degree at law, recent MS in regulatory studies. Licensed in KS, admitted b4 S& 7th circuit, but not to Indiana bar due to political correctness. Blacklisted, nearly unemployable due to hostile state action. Big Idea: Headwinds can overcome, esp for those not within the contours of the bell curve, the Lego Movie happiness set forth above. That said, even without the blacklisting for holding ideas unacceptable to the Glorious State, I think the idea presented above that a law degree open many vistas other than being a galley slave to elitist lawyers is pretty much laughable. (Did the law professors of Indiana pay for this to be published?)

  5. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.